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Utsil Naj - healthy homes for Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 3. Good Health
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 15. Life on Land

Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras have all suffered from the adverse effects of climate change. Extreme weather events and increasingly unpredictable patterns have significantly disrupted crop yields – this is particularly devastating for those communities who rely on their crops both for their own nutrition and for ensuring their incomes.

The Utsil Naj programme has been designed as a multi-intervention large-scale programme of activities for Latin America. It disseminates technologies with strong social impacts to poor populations of the continent in order to improve their living conditions in a sustainable way. The project focuses on rural beneficiaries who are often the most vulnerable communities.

Utsil Naj currently operates in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, where Microsol teamed up with local partners selected for their experience on the ground and their understanding and relations with the communities benefiting from the programme. To date, the programme has installed more than 22 000 improved cookstoves, benefitting over 100,000 people living in poverty.

One of the cookstove distribution programmes, Patsari, the GIRA’s improved cookstove, was acknowledged with an Ashden Award for reducing the respiratory disease by 30% and eye infections by 50%, this was all thanks to a 70% reduction in indoor air pollution. The technologies of the programme enable the populations to improve their quality of life having direct access to safe water and clean and efficient cookstoves.

Microsol is a social business and reinvests 100% of the revenue generated by the sale of carbon credits back into maintaining and expanding its projects. In addition, Microsol is actively involved in discussions with local governments and works with international organisations to define the roadmaps to scale up stove implementation. Microsol believes that the only way to really make a difference is by understanding and working with both communities and the local authorities. 

Project impacts and benefits:

Project impacts include health, social, environmental and economic benefits. The improved cookstoves are great tools for women empowerment, allowing them to cook more quickly, but also to reduce the chore of wood and freeing up time for the education of children. These stoves are also more efficient, therefore reducing CO2 emissions and helping to decrease deforestation thus contributing to the conservation and protection of biodiversity.

Here are some benefits of the programme:

  • Gave 114 367 people access to clean and affordable energy through the distribution of improved cookstoves
  • Reduced carbon emissions by 209 681 tonnes
  • Reduced wood consumption by 185 758 tonnes and avoiding the equivalent in deforestation
  • Saved in fuel expenditure, or time for wood collection – enabling children to go to school and mothers to work on other activities
  • A drastic reduction in smoke exposure, 98% of the beneficiaries observe that coughing, respiratory diseases and burns occur less often or not at all since the project
  • Reduced 30% of respiratory diseases, and 50% in eye infections with the Patsari improved cookstoves
  • Provided 111 jobs to local people

For more information about this project, please contact Microsol>>

“I like everything in the project. The improved cookstove is very economical. Moreover, we can save firewood!”
Margarita Coral Coral, a beneficiary of the Utsil Naj programme from Huatabambo, in Sonora region, Mexico
“La tengo prendida desde la 7.30 a las 4 de la tarde antes tenia el fogon de siempre pero como no tenia chimenea el humo se desmoronaba, ya sale el humo hacia afuera antes me dolian los ojos, y tosaba, el gas esta caro, tengo 3 anios sin usar el gas" Translation: "I have it (the improved cookstove) on since 7.30 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon. The stove I had always used before did not feature a chimney so the smoke would be crushing, now the smoke goes outside. Before my eyes hurt and I coughed. The gas is expensive, I haven’t used it for 3 years.”
Raquel GARCIA MORILLO, member of the El Fresno community in Mexico